Labraunda

TR / FR

 

    To the south-west of the sanctuary, the remains of a stadion, a race-course, were identified in 1960. It must be warned that the area is not prepared for tourists and that it is not possible to see both ends of the stadion from one single spot. The yayla cemetery takes up part of the eastern half, and many thorny bushes hide the area between the cemetery and the eastern end. To reach the western end about 300 meters south-west of the sanctuary one can proceed westwards along the path that runs immediately above the Temple Terrace for some 200 meters and then continue to the south-west along a straight path down the slope to the western end of the race course.

The retaining wall at the east end of the Stadion. View from the east.

One can also start from the main road, where a little over 300 meters to the west of the entrance to the site a wide stony path leads up towards the north; the middle part of the Stadion is reached after some 100 meters. The high retaining wall for the eastern end can be seen from the road, about 150 meters from the entrance to the site, and to reach this end it is perhaps best to try a direct approach from the road.

    Only the ends of the Stadion are relatively easy to find. A visit here could be worthwhile, however, since this is the only stadion in Anatolia where starting blocks have been found at both ends. The distance between them is just over 170 meters, but the distance is approximate, since the blocks have not remained in their original positions; almost all are lying upside down. There was probably space for 14 runners. On the northern side of the track there are traces of a few shallow rock-cut seats for spectators. As regards the date of the Stadion, it is probable that it began to be used towards the end of Maussollos’ reign in the 350’s BC, when the annual festival seems to have been extended from one or two days to four or five. At that time it is conceivable that athletic competitions were included in the festival.